Study Finds Many of the ‘Woodstock Generation’ Face Hearing Loss Today

Joe Cocker's band, Woodstock Festival

We’re constantly being reminded to protect our hearing when traveling to festivals and concerts. Despite the warnings, many of us continue on, taking the ability to listen to music clearly for granted. Today, many older adults are experiencing some sort of hearing loss, usually due to very loud music. To take a closer look, the Harris Poll took a survey consisting of 1,000 adults aged 65-80 in the United States. The ‘Woodstock Generation’ is their given nickname.

In summary, the survey found that nearly half of the adults, 47%, who listened to very loud music in their teens, face hearing issues today. 52% stated “difficulty understanding what is being said in loud environments like busy restaurants…”. Unfortunately, damage to one’s ears is irreversible to fix, besides remedies like hearing aides.

“70% of respondents said they wished they could hear music the way they did when they were young”.

Despite the ‘Woodstock Generation’ nickname, not everyone actually went to the Woodstock festival. The festival can’t take all the blame as their could be many factors leading to these results. One could suffer hearing damage from working at a loud construction job or from war related injuries. It’s difficult to comprehend how artists cope with being around extremely loud music day in and day out. Still, the focus is on hearing difficulties and what long-term exposure does to our bodies.

Sadly, 36% of the respondents reported having trouble listening to music in the present day. Their hearing loss also left an impact on friend and family relationships. 38% of those surveyed found that their hearing damage effected their relationships with those they care about. With this in mind, we can all take easy steps to take care of ourselves by wearing ear plugs around loud noises and music. If not, how do you expect to enjoy your favorite music several years from now?